What are Sugar Crystals?

Crystals can be defined as the natural formations, which have a definite structure and shape, and an ordered internal atomic structure. In the food industry, the most common forms of crystals used are salt and sugar; both in powdered, as well as granulated form.

Sugar Crystal Facts

Sugar crystals are primarily used in food preparation and decoration. Sweet food items like pastries, cakes, ice creams, etc., are made with these crystals. The source is sugarcane, a plant that grows in tropical countries. The sugar that is daily consumed by us is chemically known as sucrose, and its molecular composition is C12H22O11. Sugar is also available in crystalline form in the market.

DIY Sugar Crystal Method
  • A cup of water, 3 cups sugar, oven mitts, saucepan, glass jar, food coloring, stirring spoons, paper, binder clips, and pencils.
  • Firstly, pour 1 cup water into the glass jar, and add sugar to it slowly, till the water is completely saturated, and no more sugar can be dissolved in it.
  • Water in its normal, as well as boiled form can be used.
  • Food color may also be added to this solution; two drops are enough for coloring the crystals.
  • The next step is to tie one end of a string to a pencil, and the other end is tied to a paper clip.
  • The pencil should be placed over a jar in such a manner that the paper clip attached to the other end, just touches the jar's bottom.
  • This jar need to be kept undisturbed for about 24 hours.
  • One can see the formation of colorful crystals on the paperclip, or whatever object you chose to immerse in the solution, by the end of 24 hours.
Sugar Crystal Dissolving and Heating
The process of adding sugar to water continuously leads to saturation. The saturation point of water changes with the temperature variations. One can accommodate (dissolve) more sugar in water by means of heating; and can make the solution supersaturated with the help of this procedure that makes use of hot water. As this solution cools down, the process of crystallization begins.

Preventing Crystal Formation
Food products like candy should not contain crystalline sugars as it gives them a grainy texture. One can use different ideas or tricks to prevent the process of crystallization. Adding fructose and glucose to candies helps them to prevent the process of crystallization. The process of sucrose formation is thereby slowed down. One way of breaking down sugar (sucrose) is by adding acids to the recipe. Lemon juice can be added to break down sucrose into glucose and fructose.